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Diagnostic Tests for Cholesterol and lipids

Diagnostic Test list for Cholesterol and lipids:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Cholesterol and lipids includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Physical signs of elevated cholesterol e.g. xanthomata ( yellow lipid deposits on elbows, knees or palms), xanthelasmata (yellow lipid deposits on eyelids) or corneal arcus before age 50 ( grey ring around periphery of cornea that occurs due to deposition of fat)
    • Body mass index - should aim for BMI between 20-25.
  • Blood tests
    • Fasting lipid profile including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides
    • Fasting blood sugar level to diagnose diabetes which can further increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Diabetes itself can increase cholesterol levels
    • Thyroid function tests to exclude hypothyroidism as cause of elevated cholesterol
    • Electrolytes and Renal function tests - renal failure and nephrosis can increase cholesterol levels.
    • Liver function tests - liver dysfunction and alcohol excess can increase lipid levels.
    • Lipoprotein electrophoresis if significantly elevated triglycerides to assess a lipoprotein abnormality that can suggest an increased risk of premature vascular disease
    • Pancreatic enzymes including amylase and lipase if suspect pancreatitis due to very high triglycerides

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Cholesterol and lipids causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Cholesterol and lipids:

A total blood cholesterol level of under 200 mg/dL is desirable and usually puts you at a lower risk for heart disease. A blood cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL is high and increases your risk of heart disease. If your cholesterol level is high, your doctor will want to check your level of LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). A HIGH level of LDL-cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, as does a LOW level of HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol). An HDL-cholesterol level below 35 mg/dL is considered a risk factor for heart disease. A total cholesterol level of 200 239 mg/dL is considered borderline-high and usually increases your risk for heart disease. All adults 20 years of age or older should have their blood cholesterol level checked at least once every 5 years. (Source: excerpt from CHECK YOUR CHOLESTEROL AND HEART DISEASE I Q: NHLBI)

Blood Cholesterol Levels
For Women Without Heart Disease

Borderline-High High
Total cholesterol Less than 200 200-239 240 and above
LDL cholesterol Less than 130 130-159 160 and above
(Source: excerpt from NHLBI Heart Disease & Women Are You At Risk: NHLBI)

Understanding the Numbers . A desirable total cholesterol level for adults without heart disease is less than 200 mg/dL (or 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood). A level of 240 mg/dL or above is considered "high" blood cholesterol. But even levels in the "borderline-high" category (200-239 mg/dL) increase the risk of heart disease.

HDL levels are interpreted differently than total cholesterol levels. The lower your HDL level, the higher your heart disease risk. An HDL level of under 35 is a major risk factor for heart disease. A level of 60 or higher is considered protective.

Total and HDL cholesterol are measured first. If these tests show any of the following, your doctor will want to measure your LDL level as well: total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL or above; total cholesterol of 200-239 mg/dL with two or more other risk factors for heart disease; or HDL cholesterol of less than 35 mg/dL.

An LDL level below 130 mg/dL is desirable. LDL levels of 130-159 mg/dL are borderline-high. Levels of 160 mg/dL or above are high. As with total cholesterol, the higher your LDL number, the higher the risk. (Source: excerpt from NHLBI Heart Disease & Women Are You At Risk: NHLBI)

Understanding the Numbers . Your goal should be to have an LDL cholesterol of about 100 mg/dL or less, which is lower than for people who do not have heart disease. Depending on what your LDL level is, your next steps will be the following:

  • If your LDL level is 100 mg/dL or less, you do not need to take specific steps to lower your LDL. But you will need to have your level tested again in 1 year. In the meantime, you should closely follow a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, and not smoke. You should also follow the specific recommendations of your doctor.

  • If your LDL level is higher than 100 mg/dL, you will need a complete physical examination to find out if you have a disease or condition that is raising your cholesterol levels. Then you should take steps to lower your LDL to 100 mg/dL or less: closely follow a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet, be physically active, lose excess weight, and take cholesterol-lowering medicine, if prescribed. Of course, you also should avoid smoking.

    If, in your doctor’s judgment, your LDL level starts out too much higher than the LDL goal of 100 mg/dL or if your LDL level stays too high after lifestyle changes, you will need to take medicine.

(Source: excerpt from NHLBI Heart Disease & Women Are You At Risk: NHLBI)

For all adults, a desirable total blood cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL. A level of 240 or above is considered high blood cholesterol. But even levels in the "borderline-high category (200-239) boost the risk of heart disease.

For a woman, the level of high density lipoprotein (or HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol) also affects heart disease risk. If your HDL is less than 35, your risk of heart disease increases. (Source: excerpt from High Blood Cholesterol: NWHIC)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Cholesterol and lipids:

The following list of conditions have 'Cholesterol and lipids' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Cholesterol and lipids or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Cholesterol and lipids:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Cholesterol and lipids' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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